Biden, joined by former presidents, honors the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Author : iam404mun
Publish Date : 2021-01-20 21:12:38

Biden, joined by former presidents, honors the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Biden arrives at the White House for the first time as president

President Joe Biden was escorted to the White House for the first time Wednesday afternoon, arriving without the thousands of spectators that historically line the streets for a traditional Inauguration Day parade.

Biden held the hand of his wife Jill Biden as he walked one block from 15th Street to the White House. The couple waved at the small crowd that was in attendance. Biden ran over to greet television personality Al Roker at one point.

“It fees great. It feels good,” Biden said.

Another reporter asked whether he has a message for former President Donald Trump. Biden did not respond.

When they got to the White House door, the Bidens embraced each other as a military band played “Hail to the Chief.” They then entered with their family and others.

Because of health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, a virtual “Parade Across America” replaced the traditional inauguration parade. The virtual event kicked off as Biden arrived at the White House.

Trailing the Bidens in the escort was music from the marching band of the University of Delaware, Biden’s alma mater, and Howard University, where Vice President Harris graduated.

Joey Garrison

Pence: ‘There’s no place like home’

In his first public remarks since leaving office, former Vice President Mike Pence congratulated the new occupants of the Oval Office before thanking Donald Trump “for making America great again.”

“Thank you, President Trump, for all you’ve done for this country,” an emotional Pence said as a spoke to supporters in his hometown of Columbus, Ind., Wednesday afternoon.

Pence also thanked Trump for the privilege of serving as his vice president, a task that became especially challenging in the final days when Trump unsuccessfully pressured him to try to block Congress from accepting the electoral votes.

Pence acknowledged all those who have lost their lives from COVID-19, saying “our hearts will always be with families that have lost loved ones in this global pandemic over the ordeal of this past year.”

But Pence, who headed the administration’s coronavirus task force, said that he will always be proud of the administration’s response to the pandemic. Those actions, he said, have brought the nation to “the beginning of the end.”

Pence repeatedly fought back tears as he thanked friends, family and staff. Several of his aides flew back with him to Indiana, taking the same plane that took the Pences to Washington four years ago.

Pence announced that he will soon be resettling in his home state, where he served as governor and as a member of Congress after a career as a radio talk show host.

“While we just come back to Indiana today, I’ve already promised Karen we’ll be moving back to Indiana come this summer,” Pence said of his wife. “There’s no place like home.”

Maureen Groppe

Joe Biden: New answer to a Super Bowl trivia question

Joe Biden’s ascension to the presidency expands the answer to a great football trivia question: How many colleges have produced both U.S. presidents and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks?

The answer is now five, thanks to Biden’s alma mater, the University of Delaware; the Blue Hens also produced quarterback Joe Flacco, who led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl win over San Francisco in 2013.

Other schools that have produced presidents and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks:

  • University of Michigan (Gerald Ford and Tom Brady):
  • The United States Naval Academy (Jimmy Carter and Roger Staubach);
  • Stanford (Herbert Hoover, Jim Plunkett, and John Elway);
  • Miami of Ohio (Benjamin Harrison and Ben Roethlisberger).

— David Jackson

Biden, joined by former presidents, honors the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Joined by three of his predecessors, newly sworn-in President Joe Biden led a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in his first trip as commander in chief.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris saluted the tomb around 2:45 p.m. ET Wednesday as a solider performed “Taps,” the traditional call played at military funerals and flag ceremonies, on the bugle.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, along with their spouses, joined Biden and Harris for the ceremony. Donald Trump, who left Washington for Florida before the inauguration, was not present.

Joey Garrison

Biden, Harris enjoy levity with congressional leaders

A traditional gift-giving ceremony reflected the joshing ease that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris enjoy with leaders of the House and Senate — a sharp contrast with former President Donald Trump.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., began his comments by mentioning each participant by title: “Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Dr. Biden, Mr. President.” But Biden interrupted, inviting him to be more casual.

“No, Joe, you’re Mr. President,” Hoyer replied.

Then first lady Jill Biden interjected.

“Dr. Biden, he makes you call him Mr. President?” Hoyer asked. “Marriage is about to get rocky, I can tell.”

Hoyer joined House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in presenting framed photographs of the inauguration ceremony to Biden and Harris less than two hours afterward.

“That was quick,” Biden said, as he walked up to the easel.

“Modern technology, right?” McCarthy said. “It’s a good picture, too.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a fierce Republican partisan from Kentucky, presented the Democrat Harris with a U.S. flag that flew atop the Capitol during the inauguration ceremony. But McConnell couldn’t let the moment pass without noting that both she and Biden had served in the Senate without serving in the House.

“With all due respect to our distinguished speaker and our colleagues from the House, I have to note not only did we just swore in a son and daughter of the Senate to these offices, but indeed both of these former senators skipped the House altogether,” McConnell said to chuckles.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., presented two custom made, Lenox crystal vases. One of the White House was for Biden and one of the Capitol was for Harris. But she noted they are heavy, weighing 32 pounds each.

“Jill, I know, is very strong and could pick them both,” Klobuchar said.

The gift-giving usually occurs during a luncheon that was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., opened the session by saying he had little time to choose a painting that traditionally provides a poignant image for the event.

But he had little time to choose a painting, so Jill Biden recommended one from Robert Seldon Duncanson, a Black painter. The landscape completed in 1859 featured a rainbow on the right side

“The rainbow is always a good sign,” Blunt said.

Bart Jansen

Biden signs inaugural proclamation, nomination documents

Still at the Capitol after being sworn into office, Biden signed the inaugural proclamation around 1:25 p.m. ET, formalizing him as the 46th president, as well as documents to officially make his Cabinet nominations.

The signings are part of the procedural actions all presidents take after assuming office.

Next Biden and Harris will review the readiness of military troops from the east front of the Capitol.

Biden and Harris will then travel to Arlington National Cemetery where they will join former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Joey Garrison

Biden ends 21-minute inaugural address: ‘Thank you, America’

Biden’s inaugural address clocked in at 21 minutes and ended with a call for Americans to meet the nation’s challenges with “purpose and resolve” as he thanked the country.

“With purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our times, sustained by faith, driven by conviction,” Biden said. “My God bless America and may God protect our troops. Thank you, America.”

The speech may have seemed short, but it’s in line with the length of recent inaugural addresses.

Trump’s 2017 inaugural speech was 15 minutes. Like Biden, Barack Obama spoke for 21 minutes in his 2009 inaugural address and 18 minutes in 2013. George W. Bush spoke for 15 minutes in 2001. And Bill Clinton’s inaugural addressed clocked in at 22 minutes in 1997 and just 14 minutes in 1993.

Joey Garrison


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